When we think of threats to cybersecurity, we typically think of threats that come from outside the organization. These are most often cybercriminals who are trying to target weak spots in your organization’s cyber defenses so they can gain access to sensitive information. But what about the threats that can come from inside your organization? Yes, insider threats are a real thing, and insider threat detection is a critical part of your cybersecurity posture.
What Is an Insider Threat?
The 2020 Cost of Insider Threats: Global Report reveals that a whopping 62% of organizations had issues with insider threats within a 12-month period. An insider threat is the possibility of someone who has legitimate access to your systems acting maliciously or otherwise compromising the security of your systems. This can be current or past employees or third parties, such as contractors. There are three types of insider threats:
- Malicious Insider – This is a person who works within the company or is a past employee. They want to harm the organization, and in most cases, these people have financial or some other form of personal gain as a motive for their actions.
- Negligent Insider – This is a person who is negligent when it comes to following proper procedure. They may not bother logging out of their computer when stepping away, or they may share their login credentials. They have no ill intentions, but they are unaware of how their actions can compromise the company.
- Compromised Insider – This is an individual who does not intend to harm the company but whose credentials have become compromised. This may occur through a computer virus or phishing scam (the use of an email that appears to be from a trusted source to gain login credentials and other sensitive information). The malicious actor will use this person’s credentials to make it look like they are acting maliciously.
How Insider Threat Detection Works
Insider threat detection involves a two-fold approach to reducing the risk of threats and taking action to seek out potential threats. Reducing the risk of insider threats requires you to do the following:
- Ensure employees and other system users are trained in how to recognize phishing attempts so they know what emails to avoid. They should also be trained in how to recognize suspicious behavior of colleagues in the workplace so that they can report it to IT or HR.
- Monitoring the behavior of employees that have been laid off or have not been given a raise or a promotion to help spot potential threats before they become a security incident.
Actively seeking out potential insider threats is also a requirement to stay ahead of any potential threats you may face. This involves:
- Creating a team within IT that is dedicated to hunting for potential threats by looking for signs that there may be a threat within the company
- Using User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to track users and collect and analyze user and machine data to detect potential threats by establishing normal patterns of behavior so they can recognize anomalous behavior when it occurs
Act on Insider Threat Detection Now
Insider threats are a real and serious risk to your organization, and it’s not a risk that is going to go away. By implementing insider threat detection strategies now, you will have the best chance of avoiding insider threats that could severely damage the financial well-being and reputation of your company.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you develop and implement insider threat detection to help protect your company’s assets.